No discussion of marriage would be complete without addressing the topic of communication. As well as being the key to longevity and satisfaction in all successful relationships, communication remains the hallmark of a good marriage. To communicate successfully in a relationship, consider these simple yet powerful principles:
• Good communication in a marriage requires a commitment of time.
Studies show that many married couples engage in meaningful conversation for less than 30 minutes per week. Often this time is reduced even further when two incomes are required and there are children’s activities to take into account. To remedy this situation, a couple must first become aware of the need to talk to one another. Setting aside time in a busy schedule can require some creativity but it can be done. Couples can opt to take advantage of the time spent driving in the car from place to place, talking on the phone during lunch hour or simply take out a few minutes to walk away around the neighborhood.
• Good communication in a marriage should always be respectful.
When couples have lived together for a while, the pressures of everyday life can lead to dialogue laced with sarcasm or condescending tones. An important point to remember is that maintaining mutual respect for one another is tantamount to success or failure in a marriage relationship.
• Good communication requires the cultivation of good listening skills.
Often, one partner is so busy trying to communicate their own needs that they miss when the other one is trying to convey what they need. Like any skill, listening takes practice. To learn to listen, a great exercise is to set aside a period of time and let your partner talk with no interruptions. As your partner reciprocates, both of you will find how pleasurable conversation can be. In addition, by actively listening you will learn more about every aspect of your partner.
A large part of why people get married is to have a loving partner with whom to share their lives. Marriage is also an institution based on expressing our emotional needs and being heard. In exchange, we must also be willing to respectfully listen to our companion and consider their needs. Communication is a powerful element in a relationship that can unify people or tear them apart. Becoming aware of this vital component and implementing a few tips to enhance communication can make your partnership the enjoyable and fulfilling experience that it was meant to be.